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Author Topic: Unai Emery - our manager  (Read 687259 times)

Offline Clampy

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7260 on: December 07, 2023, 08:51:43 PM »
He's said I can keep the royalties.

I think what he actually said was ‘you’re welcome to this song.’

I did say in fairness 'I hope you don't mind'.

Offline AV84

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7261 on: December 07, 2023, 10:39:12 PM »
Pau Torres would fit well to the Ce Sera Sera tune. Not sure what rhymes with Torres though.....

Pau Torres, Torres
King of Villa's defence
In front of Martinez
Pau Torres, Torres


Offline SaddVillan

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7262 on: December 07, 2023, 10:59:27 PM »
From The Guardian

Aston Villa’s rise has been an evolution, not a complete revolution

HEROES AND VILLANS
Aston Villa are a grand old club. One of the 12 founder members of the Football League, they have always had that vibe, a sheepskin coat of a club in a league full of trendy anoraks. The magnificent Villa Park – with its brick facade, Holte End, wood-panelled innards and a grandeur befitting many an FA Cup semi-final – has seen it all in its 126-year history. And in the not-too-distant past, Villa have been champions of England, champions of Europe. More recently, they have been relegated, promoted and a bit average. Villa fans have long dreamt of ending their near-30-year major trophy hiatus (no, we’re not counting the 2001 Intertoto Cup) but nobody thought that it could be the Premier League that ends the drought. The size of a trophy cabinet does not maketh a club (just ask Newcastle), but it certainly helps.

If “Aston Villa: title contenders” sounds a little strange, well, that’s because it is. But the facts are thus: Villa have won 10 of their 15 league matches this season: the most victories for them at this stage of a league campaign since 1980-81 – the last time they won the title. They are four points off the top and could close the gap to a single point this weekend when they host leaders Arsenal at Villa Park, which we are contractually obliged to label as a “fortress”: the Birmingham club have won their last 14 home league games, equalling a club record stretching back to 1903.

In case you have been living under a rock, Villa are on a bit of a roll at the moment. Unai Emery has now won 31 of his first 50 games in charge, two more than Pep Guardiola managed in his first 50 in charge of Manchester City, who were given a shoeing at Villa Park on Wednesday. Guardiola’s sides are not regularly battered but this was an absolute hiding of a 1-0. Leon Bailey got a rather scrappy winner, but it could have easily been 4-0. Villa had 20 more shots than City in their win (22 for, two against), the biggest margin a Guardiola team has been out-gunned by in 535 league matches. Even with the considerable absences of Rodri (suspended) and Kevin De Bruyne (hamstring twang), this was a total victory.

Emi Martínez is arguably the best goalkeeper in the world right now. Super John McGinn isn’t just the owner of the Premier League’s best celebration but also one of the best left foots in the business. Ollie Watkins is the league’s most in-form striker and just a Harry Kane knee-knack away from spearheading England’s attack at Euro 2024. Recruitment has been key, with a combination of bargains and money well spent. Youri Tielemens and Boubacar Kamara have arrived on free transfers, while nobody is now questioning the sizeable fees for Moussa Diaby and Pau Torres, among others. But it is Emery and his coaching that has underpinned Villa’s rise. This has been an evolution, not a complete revolution – six of the players that started against City also featured in Steven Gerrard’s starting XI in his final match as manager 14 months ago. Now Villa have an elite manager, an elite squad and all the momentum of our weird uncle cascading down the ice sculpture at the annual Big Website Christmas bash. If Mikel Arteta thought Arsenal’s trip to Luton was tricky, then he’s got quite the job to beat his predecessor on Saturday.

Offline eamonn

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7263 on: December 07, 2023, 11:34:33 PM »
Is that the Fiver? Used to subscribe, thought I was wasting enough time on reading about football so I unsubscribed. But I was wrong. Pity they didn't extend mention of McGinn's possessions to his peerless posterior.

Offline Brazilian Villain

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7264 on: December 07, 2023, 11:40:18 PM »
Is that the Fiver? Used to subscribe, thought I was wasting enough time on reading about football so I unsubscribed. But I was wrong. Pity they didn't extend mention of McGinn's possessions to his peerless posterior.

I guessed it was the Fiver when they mentioned "our weird uncle".

Offline eamonn

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7265 on: December 08, 2023, 12:28:09 AM »
Ha, yeah, one of their funny tropes.

Offline sid1964

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7266 on: December 08, 2023, 07:45:28 AM »
Lyrics from the song "let it be" - is the best Unai Emery chant that i have heard

Offline Axl Rose

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7267 on: December 08, 2023, 07:47:05 AM »
Lyrics from the song "let it be" - is the best Unai Emery chant that i have heard

Get footy on the case. An absolute song writing legend 😂

Offline jwarry

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7268 on: December 08, 2023, 08:26:03 AM »
I’m waiting for the press to start trying to unsettle us with rumours of ‘bigger clubs’ poaching Unai.  Only a matter of time I suspect

Offline Dave

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7269 on: December 08, 2023, 10:07:31 AM »
Nice, if slightly waffly in place, article, which touches nicely on a few of this forum's current football narrative complaints.

Quote
Modern football is dominated by charismatic, main character managers. Your Klopps, Your Guardiolas, even Your Mourinhos. Unai Emery is different.

There was a very good piece in The Guardian this week about the overwhelming importance of charisma as a character trait for a top, top manager in your modern game.

Taking the various tributes and anecdotes and stories that followed the death of Terry Venables as a jumping-off point, it circles through the current elite managers and their various charismatic ways. The effervescent oomph of a Jurgen Klopp, the molten brain of a Pep Guardiola, the endlessly cutting deadpan humour of a miserable clown like Jose Mourinho, Ange Postecoglou saying ‘mate’ a lot.

Even Mikel Arteta has a vague sort of steely-eyed charisma, behind the weird rants and staring, accusatory eyes. Anyway, it’s good and you should read it if you haven’t.

But there’s currently one massive and obvious exception barrelling along marvellously at the top of the Premier League: Unai Emery and his absurdly good Aston Villa team. He’s mentioned and then glossed over in a single sentence in the Guardian piece, which makes sense. He’s an inconvenient outlier for that otherwise solid theory.

He’s worth a closer look, though. Because he really is nothing like any of the other top managers. There are other charisma-free managers doing well, but their lack of charisma is almost in itself a studied and deliberate part of their schtick. Think Thomas Tuchel’s big-brained anger, or Julian Nagelsmann’s self-conscious clobber, or Eddie Howe’s High Performance, serial-killer earnestness. They may not have charisma, but there is still main character energy there. Emery has none of that.

Emery’s schtick is to not have a schtick whatsoever. He has a haircut that sits somewhere between good and bad, between bland and showy. It’s just some hair, neither perfectly coiffed nor consciously messy. He wears suits that are clearly expensive but also somehow just not quite perfect. He is either the most well-groomed scruffy person ever or the scruffiest smart person. We can’t decide. Is there a difference? Does it matter?

But that’s sort of the thing. He’ll go bananas on the touchline occasionally but beyond that there just seems to be nothing remarkable about him in any direction.

Except, and this is the thing, being a really good football manager. There is some much-needed revisionism now taking place about his doomed Arsenal reign. It wasn’t remotely as bad as people remember it to be, and there is every chance he could have replicated Arteta’s success if indulged and given the same opportunities and allowances the current Arsenal manager was granted in shaping his project.

But he was never going to get that time, and again that all feeds into the whole charisma element. There was no buy-in from the Arsenal fans, but no real attempt to sell it from Emery either. Maybe nobody could have come in post-Wenger and succeeded, but the best chance certainly lay with someone more overtly compelling at selling themselves and the idea rather than a manager just trying to quietly get on with the taxing task of building a new football team.

Maybe Aston Villa – and Villarreal – are therefore just a much better fit for a manager like Emery. Villa are the classic sleeping giant. Their history puts them in the top bracket of English clubs. While we don’t much care for ‘big club’ dick-swinging contests where the criteria used to decide these things happen by pure chance to always correlate to a metric that favours a specific club, it’s hard to build a truly compelling case for anyone else as the biggest football club in the Midlands when everything is taken into account.

It had been shit for a very long time, though, culminating in a three-year spell outside the top flight. The top flight without Villa is barely more ludicrous a concept than the top flight without Everton; frankly we’re astonished that whatever dark and powerful ancient curse has been put in place to prevent the Toffees ever slipping into the Sky Bet wasn’t also in force for the Villans. But there we are.

Down they went, and when they came back up it wasn’t really all that much better. Some lower mid-table floundering gave way to the very real prospect of further disaster under Steven Gerrard, who a lot of us were really quite wrong about as a manager. Turns out he really wasn’t any better than Frank Lampard, their careers forever and unavoidably intertwined no matter what they do or where they go.

Then along came Emery, the coach who had overachieved wildly with Villarreal. They’re not quite Villa. Aston Villa is a football club that has everything going for it and should have been more successful in recent years than it has been; Villarreal are a team that based on underlying numbers has no business being anywhere near La Liga, never mind European silverware. There’s barely a club in the world that punches above its weight like Villarreal. Half the town can fit inside El Madrigal.

Half of Birmingham cannot fit inside Villa Park. But there is a similarity in stature brought about by modern football’s landscape. Villa are one of English football’s traditional heavyweights who rather missed the boat when the big money started rolling in and have been striving to catch up ever since.

There was no expectation of instant success when Emery arrived. Avoidance of instant disaster was the first task. When he achieved that, the prevailing mood among Villa fans was initially to look down on the massive relegation bunfight unfolding beneath them and to take comfort in a short spell of quiet, untroubled mid-table life.

Then without telling anyone – again in keeping with Emery’s unshowy, unfussy quiet excellence – they eased through the gears and out of mid-table into the European places. The total collapse of Tottenham’s season under Antonio Conte (charismatic) and Cristian Stellini (not charismatic) certainly helped, but Villa’s form was stunning.

And it’s continued. They’ve now won 14 home Premier League games in a row, most recently with a thoroughly deserved 1-0 win over the reigning three-time champions Manchester City. It’s a win that lifted Villa above City in the table and into third.

Are they title contenders? Probably not, but if they were managed by Ange Postecoglou or Jurgen Klopp you’d be reading plenty about how they are. Instead, we’re all only really just now discovering their home form is quite that good. We knew it was good, but they’d already won 10 games in a row before anyone was even talking about it. Impossible to imagine that scenario if we were talking about the Etihad, the Emirates, Anfield or WHL2.0 as the location of such a record.

And the fact it’s Villa should make it more remarkable rather than less. But that’s what Villa are, and that’s what Emery is: unremarkably remarkable.

Even now, Emery is playing everything down and insisting there are ‘seven teams’ with a better chance at the title. We’re not saying Emery’s Villa are about to pip Arsenal to the title, although that would be quite the narrative, but we’ve had a good think and come up with only three teams at best.

Emery has been able to transform Villa outside the spotlight. It’s an opportunity he could never have been afforded at Arsenal or any of the other Big Six clubs. He clearly wants to keep his team out of the conversation with his ‘seven teams’ efforts. A more charismatic manager might have managed to make it sound convincing; but just as he could never really play up his Arsenal achievements, nor can he play down Villa’s.

Bad luck, Unai and bad luck, Villa. You’re proper good now. And people have started noticing, despite your best efforts. Make it 15 home wins in a row this weekend against Arsenal and there will be no hope at all of remaining under that radar.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2023, 10:13:20 AM by Dave »

Offline PeterWithe

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7270 on: December 08, 2023, 10:35:38 AM »
Hmmmm, that we are sitting third and have this week just comprehensively beaten the European champions doesn't really fit with the writers claimed ‘insight’

He should have filed it last month.

Offline Monty

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7271 on: December 08, 2023, 10:38:53 AM »
Nice, if slightly waffly in place, article, which touches nicely on a few of this forum's current football narrative complaints.

Quote
Modern football is dominated by charismatic, main character managers. Your Klopps, Your Guardiolas, even Your Mourinhos. Unai Emery is different.

There was a very good piece in The Guardian this week about the overwhelming importance of charisma as a character trait for a top, top manager in your modern game.

Taking the various tributes and anecdotes and stories that followed the death of Terry Venables as a jumping-off point, it circles through the current elite managers and their various charismatic ways. The effervescent oomph of a Jurgen Klopp, the molten brain of a Pep Guardiola, the endlessly cutting deadpan humour of a miserable clown like Jose Mourinho, Ange Postecoglou saying ‘mate’ a lot.

Even Mikel Arteta has a vague sort of steely-eyed charisma, behind the weird rants and staring, accusatory eyes. Anyway, it’s good and you should read it if you haven’t.

But there’s currently one massive and obvious exception barrelling along marvellously at the top of the Premier League: Unai Emery and his absurdly good Aston Villa team. He’s mentioned and then glossed over in a single sentence in the Guardian piece, which makes sense. He’s an inconvenient outlier for that otherwise solid theory.

He’s worth a closer look, though. Because he really is nothing like any of the other top managers. There are other charisma-free managers doing well, but their lack of charisma is almost in itself a studied and deliberate part of their schtick. Think Thomas Tuchel’s big-brained anger, or Julian Nagelsmann’s self-conscious clobber, or Eddie Howe’s High Performance, serial-killer earnestness. They may not have charisma, but there is still main character energy there. Emery has none of that.

Emery’s schtick is to not have a schtick whatsoever. He has a haircut that sits somewhere between good and bad, between bland and showy. It’s just some hair, neither perfectly coiffed nor consciously messy. He wears suits that are clearly expensive but also somehow just not quite perfect. He is either the most well-groomed scruffy person ever or the scruffiest smart person. We can’t decide. Is there a difference? Does it matter?

But that’s sort of the thing. He’ll go bananas on the touchline occasionally but beyond that there just seems to be nothing remarkable about him in any direction.

Except, and this is the thing, being a really good football manager. There is some much-needed revisionism now taking place about his doomed Arsenal reign. It wasn’t remotely as bad as people remember it to be, and there is every chance he could have replicated Arteta’s success if indulged and given the same opportunities and allowances the current Arsenal manager was granted in shaping his project.

But he was never going to get that time, and again that all feeds into the whole charisma element. There was no buy-in from the Arsenal fans, but no real attempt to sell it from Emery either. Maybe nobody could have come in post-Wenger and succeeded, but the best chance certainly lay with someone more overtly compelling at selling themselves and the idea rather than a manager just trying to quietly get on with the taxing task of building a new football team.

Maybe Aston Villa – and Villarreal – are therefore just a much better fit for a manager like Emery. Villa are the classic sleeping giant. Their history puts them in the top bracket of English clubs. While we don’t much care for ‘big club’ dick-swinging contests where the criteria used to decide these things happen by pure chance to always correlate to a metric that favours a specific club, it’s hard to build a truly compelling case for anyone else as the biggest football club in the Midlands when everything is taken into account.

It had been shit for a very long time, though, culminating in a three-year spell outside the top flight. The top flight without Villa is barely more ludicrous a concept than the top flight without Everton; frankly we’re astonished that whatever dark and powerful ancient curse has been put in place to prevent the Toffees ever slipping into the Sky Bet wasn’t also in force for the Villans. But there we are.

Down they went, and when they came back up it wasn’t really all that much better. Some lower mid-table floundering gave way to the very real prospect of further disaster under Steven Gerrard, who a lot of us were really quite wrong about as a manager. Turns out he really wasn’t any better than Frank Lampard, their careers forever and unavoidably intertwined no matter what they do or where they go.

Then along came Emery, the coach who had overachieved wildly with Villarreal. They’re not quite Villa. Aston Villa is a football club that has everything going for it and should have been more successful in recent years than it has been; Villarreal are a team that based on underlying numbers has no business being anywhere near La Liga, never mind European silverware. There’s barely a club in the world that punches above its weight like Villarreal. Half the town can fit inside El Madrigal.

Half of Birmingham cannot fit inside Villa Park. But there is a similarity in stature brought about by modern football’s landscape. Villa are one of English football’s traditional heavyweights who rather missed the boat when the big money started rolling in and have been striving to catch up ever since.

There was no expectation of instant success when Emery arrived. Avoidance of instant disaster was the first task. When he achieved that, the prevailing mood among Villa fans was initially to look down on the massive relegation bunfight unfolding beneath them and to take comfort in a short spell of quiet, untroubled mid-table life.

Then without telling anyone – again in keeping with Emery’s unshowy, unfussy quiet excellence – they eased through the gears and out of mid-table into the European places. The total collapse of Tottenham’s season under Antonio Conte (charismatic) and Cristian Stellini (not charismatic) certainly helped, but Villa’s form was stunning.

And it’s continued. They’ve now won 14 home Premier League games in a row, most recently with a thoroughly deserved 1-0 win over the reigning three-time champions Manchester City. It’s a win that lifted Villa above City in the table and into third.

Are they title contenders? Probably not, but if they were managed by Ange Postecoglou or Jurgen Klopp you’d be reading plenty about how they are. Instead, we’re all only really just now discovering their home form is quite that good. We knew it was good, but they’d already won 10 games in a row before anyone was even talking about it. Impossible to imagine that scenario if we were talking about the Etihad, the Emirates, Anfield or WHL2.0 as the location of such a record.

And the fact it’s Villa should make it more remarkable rather than less. But that’s what Villa are, and that’s what Emery is: unremarkably remarkable.

Even now, Emery is playing everything down and insisting there are ‘seven teams’ with a better chance at the title. We’re not saying Emery’s Villa are about to pip Arsenal to the title, although that would be quite the narrative, but we’ve had a good think and come up with only three teams at best.

Emery has been able to transform Villa outside the spotlight. It’s an opportunity he could never have been afforded at Arsenal or any of the other Big Six clubs. He clearly wants to keep his team out of the conversation with his ‘seven teams’ efforts. A more charismatic manager might have managed to make it sound convincing; but just as he could never really play up his Arsenal achievements, nor can he play down Villa’s.

Bad luck, Unai and bad luck, Villa. You’re proper good now. And people have started noticing, despite your best efforts. Make it 15 home wins in a row this weekend against Arsenal and there will be no hope at all of remaining under that radar.

Slightly waffly but amusingly written, and makes the point that we just keep on doing the winning thing. But it doesn't quite make the most relevant point for me: that, having been massacred at Newcastle and Liverpool and having weathered quite a storm at Spurs, not only have we battered Brighton at home but now Man City as well (as thumping a 1-0 as you will see).

It's not just the improvement in results, but in performances when we're at our best that's really striking.

Offline Risso

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7272 on: December 08, 2023, 10:40:58 AM »
Hmmmm, that we are sitting third and have this week just comprehensively beaten the European champions doesn't really fit with the writers claimed ‘insight’

He should have filed it last month.

Indeed, I've felt like saying "Where were you when we weren't shit" after a lot of these articles. I know beating Man City in the manner we did was very impressive, but it's been obvious to anybody for a while now that we mean business. That many home wins in a row doesn't happen by chance, including absolutely wiping the floor with Brighton.

Offline AV84

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7273 on: December 08, 2023, 11:27:18 AM »
Nice, if slightly waffly in place, article, which touches nicely on a few of this forum's current football narrative complaints.



I think that's a great article, and it backs up a point I made back at the start of the season when every media outlet was wall to wall with Ange. Modern media relies on engagement, and people like Postecoglou are click bait heaven for online media. Emery offers nothing in that respect, and it's taken them all this long to find a narrative that works for them, helped massively by how well we're doing on the pitch.

They mention his time at Arsenal and how the fans didn't buy in but Emery didn't really try to sell it to them either. There was a fairly recent article about Emery, can't remember if it was his quote or someone talking about him, but they said that the sacking at Arsenal came as a massive surprise to him because he hadn't been paying any attention to anything beyond the football. I think that might be why he's been so repetitive with the idea of building something with the fans at Villa, working with the crowd at home etc. etc. He's got a better set up here, but he's also learned a lesson about the wider politics of Premiership football.

Offline AV82EC

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Re: Unai Emery - our manager
« Reply #7274 on: December 08, 2023, 01:15:13 PM »
Nice, if slightly waffly in place, article, which touches nicely on a few of this forum's current football narrative complaints.



I think that's a great article, and it backs up a point I made back at the start of the season when every media outlet was wall to wall with Ange. Modern media relies on engagement, and people like Postecoglou are click bait heaven for online media. Emery offers nothing in that respect, and it's taken them all this long to find a narrative that works for them, helped massively by how well we're doing on the pitch.

They mention his time at Arsenal and how the fans didn't buy in but Emery didn't really try to sell it to them either. There was a fairly recent article about Emery, can't remember if it was his quote or someone talking about him, but they said that the sacking at Arsenal came as a massive surprise to him because he hadn't been paying any attention to anything beyond the football. I think that might be why he's been so repetitive with the idea of building something with the fans at Villa, working with the crowd at home etc. etc. He's got a better set up here, but he's also learned a lesson about the wider politics of Premiership football.

And selling the Emery project with the wider club and fans is Vidagney’s job and he’s doing it marvellously.

 <basque accented Spanish> we are connecting with our team and Manager, we feel this. </basque accented Spanish>

 


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